The Institute of Public Administration and Politics supports and promotes research in collaboration with researchers in the Faculty of Political Science. Professors Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson and Ómar H. Kristmundsson have headed two very wide-ranging research projects concerning some the most pressing subjects of public administration, i.e. governance and working conditions in public service and democratic structures and social capital in local authorities.
Democratic structures and social capital in local authorities, 2008-2009
How to develop methods for direct democracy and citizens‘ participation in conflict resolution within local authorities that promotes cooperation and enhances social capital? This research project, headed by Dr. Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, Faculty of Political Science professor, was conducted in 22 of the largest municipalities and local authorities in Iceland, home to 89% of the nation‘s population.
A product of this project is Leiðsögn um lýðræði í sveitarfélögum, („Recommendations for democracy in local authorities“, available in Icelandic only) published in 2012 by the institute in collaboration with the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities.
Governance and working conditions in public service in Iceland
Beginning in 2006 this project, a collaboration between the Institute of Public Administration and Politics, the Ministry of Finance and ParX, headed by Ómar H. Kristmundsson, Faculty of Political Science professor, examined governance and management within the public sector, including human resource and financial management, information flow within public organizations and communication between ministries and other government institutions, work practices and employee satisfaction. 144 public organizations and 10000 public servants participated in the survey, whose results have been put to constructive use in the reform og working conditions in the public sector as well as receiving considerable exposure through events hosted by the institute.
The survey of directors was repeated in 2011-12 and a similar research project was conducted in 1998-1999. The reports are available online with further information (in Icelandic only) at the Ministry of Finance‘s website: